Jennifer Price Pollard, 45, is one of only thirty people in the world who have been diagnosed with the exceptionally rare immunodeficiency syndrome called MonoMAC. This Sandpoint, ID, resident is fighting for her life. When the diagnosis came in February 2012, she and her family were devastated to learn her only hope for survival is an experimental bone marrow transplant. After years of fighting a mysterious, life-threatening illness no one could have imagined that a newly discovered genetic defect in the GATA2 gene could wreak such havoc.
Without a bone marrow transplant, this beautiful, inspirational mother will not have a chance to watch her two daughters graduate from high school. Lauren is seventeen years old and is outgoing, artistic, loves acting, singing and her two dogs. Makenna, at fifteen, is a free-spirit who is intelligent, sharp-witted, loves photography and video production, and radiates joy. Jennifer is a loving wife to Ray, who is a wonderful dad with an amazing sense of humor. He provides all of her caregiving. They have been together for 26 years!
Jennifer faces extraordinary obstacles to get the life-saving bone marrow transplant. MonoMAC is so rare and newly discovered that any treatment is considered experimental, including a bone marrow transplant. Every medical bill is being denied and the insurance company will not pay for treatment.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have accepted Jennifer into a clinical trial for a life-saving bone marrow transplant but a donor match has yet to be found. Dr. Holland, one of the leading researchers at the NIH was quoted in the Washington Post, saying "MonoMAC is at the confluence of cancer and infection susceptibility" and may hold the key to curing leukemia!
The amazing doctors and clinicians at the NIH have been scouring the bone marrow registries both in the US and abroad, but they have still been unable to find a good donor match for her transplant. Because of this, they are very concerned that she may suffer catastrophic bone marrow failure before they can find what they call a 10 out of 10 match. The lead doctor of the transplant group at the NIH told her in March 2013 that if a 10/10 match has not been found by September, they are going to be forced into performing an extremely risky, totally experimental transplant called a Haplo (or Half Match) transplant. We are obviously praying that a suitable 10/10 match will be found.
There are few young families prepared for a catastrophic event like this. Jennifer's medical expenses are overwhelming. Jennifer's body is weakening and her bone marrow is failing. She needs to focus fully on enduring daily IV antibiotic therapies and many other treatments without the distressing worry of whether her family can survive financially.
Jennifer's amazing spirit, love for life and her family have helped sustain her and continue to give her strength in the face of these immense challenges. She is grateful for the emotional support she is receiving, but she is now greatly in need of financial assistance. We can't fix her body or take on any of her pain -- not even for a moment -- but we can help her and her family shoulder the very stressful financial burden. The further we spread the word through Facebook, e-mail, or Twitter, the more money we can raise for Jennifer.
Thank you for your consideration and support. Thank you again for helping Jennifer have a second chance at life!
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